Harder Family

Harder Family

Friday, October 20, 2023

10/20/23: Crazy Chemo

 Psalm 34:15,17-19 “The Lord sees all we do; He watches over His friends day and night. His godly ones receive the answers they seek whenever they cry out to Him… Yet when holy lovers of God cry out to Him with all their hearts, the Lord will hear them and come to rescue them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to all whose hearts are crushed by pain, and He is always ready to restore the repentant one. Even when bad things happen to the good and godly ones, the Lord will save them and not let them be defeated by what they face.”

This morning was the beginning of my first chemo infusion. I was about 15 minutes late due to a few factors (making my breakfast and not getting up early enough, plus some commute traffic). From the first moment I met my nurse, I loved her. She was so sweet and reassuring. 

Do you ever feel like God doesn’t see you? I know I have had periods in my life where I felt overlooked by God. But friends, let me tell you, He sees you and He longs to be known by you! El Roi is the Hebrew word used to describe God as the one who sees. I just want to testify how much God sees and how He provided everything I needed, which is another name given to God…Jehovah Jireh. 

I know I have referred to the tapestry poem by Corrie ten Boom which describes that God is weaving a story through history and also a story of our lives. But today God showed me something else, how He weaves people into our lives, sometimes months before you need it, because it’s part of the beautiful story He is weaving in our lives. 

Here is another example in my life that demonstrates that God knows what we need, and when we need it. My nurse today, Becky, not only shared the same first name with me (Rebecca), she lives in Winchester, and we share many of the same friends. Tonight we discovered that her son’s girlfriend, who attends Liberty with a student population on campus around 16,000, knows Abigail! They were on the same sister hall their first year of college. You cannot tell me all of these things are by chance. I believe God ordained and directed each person in my life along this journey.

Becky was the best nurse a newbie could have. She explained things to me in such a clear way and reminded me that any sensations I have that I didn’t walk in with, she needs to know about them. Her smile lit up the room and you could see Jesus in her as she worked with patients. It was just amazing to see how God provided me the best nurse who helped me through this hard day. 

We started the day with my immunotherapy medicine (Jemperli). That medicine went well without any hitches. Then they started me on my pre-meds. When they put the Benadryl in my IV, that’s when things got rough for me. I got dizzy, tired, and lightheaded. They had to wheelchair me to the bathroom because I couldn’t walk at that moment. They called me a lightweight. I told them it’s a good thing I don’t drink, I think I’d pass out first drink. 🤣

Once we got that settled down a little, we started Paclitaxel. I was half conscious at this moment trying to answer questions while nodding off to sleep. I started feeling like someone placed a book on my chest and them another. I knew I didn’t feel like this when I walked in, so I told Becky. She turned off the medicine and then gave me more pre-meds (not more Benadryl). After about a half hour delay, we got back to the chemo, but at a slower pace. Finally, after over 3 hours, it was time to move on to my last chemo (Carboplatin). This infusion went well and no side effects. IV was removed and I was free to go home and ponder about all the things I need to look for from the pharmacist. The best thing about the group I’m seeing are these amazing binders that speak to my type A personality. I can easily look up symptoms I’m having and see if it warrants a call. Seriously, they have thought of everything here!

Since finishing today, I officially have made it 25% through my chemo!!! Becky warned me that Monday, which is 3 days out from the infusion, will probably be the hardest day with fatigue and not feeling well. If I’m slow to return texts, I apply in advance. 

Everyone I have talked to encouraged me to take a daily short walk or two to help with fatigue and symptoms. Tonight Wayne and I took a short 1/4 mile walk. 

The girls were glad to have me home! I’m so thankful that we had time this past week to work on some science stuff with them. Joella was studying eruptions and did the mentos and Diet Coke. Micaela’s science experiment is covering my bar. 

Prayer Requests:

- Strength for my body to overcome the chemo effects and that the chemo will kill of the cells in my body. 

- Pray that I stay hydrated and fueled for this fight. 

- Please continue to pray for Wayne. His right hand is getting stronger, but now his right leg is dragging a little again. Steps forward and steps back. 

- Please also just continue to pray for our kids since all of this is just a lot on them. Thank you to all of you taking them along places we can’t at this time!🩷

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